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What You Need to Know Before Buying a Pedometer
By Matt Ream

Question: What's small, weighs about an ounce, and comes in dozens of different models? Answer: a Pedometer.

Oregon Scientific Distance Panic Alarm Pedometer Would you have guessed it had I mentioned this item could help you lose weight, decrease your chance of diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, and improve your overall fitness? Using a pedometer to count your steps is one of the cheapest and easiest ways available to improve your health and fitness.

(Article continued below.)

The most important thing to decide is which features you need. The basics are steps, distance, calories, and time. If you're doing a 10,000-step program or something similar, you will need to know your steps. They are the foundation for all other calculations within the pedometer.

If you are interested in knowing the distance you cover in your walking or running, get a pedometer with a distance calculation (in miles or kilometers, some have both). Make sure you can set your stride length or your distance measurements will be inaccurate. When walking or running, make sure you are actually taking steps the length you entered into the pedometer.

ACCUSPLIT A210F Pedometer A pedometer that measures calories burned is helpful in giving you an idea of how much energy you have expended. If you are counting calories, this can be a good way to see if you've earned that extra doughnut or not. Again, make sure you can enter your weight to get the most accurate calculation possible.

The time function comes in a variety of forms. Some pedometers will show time of day, while some have a stopwatch or countdown timer. There are units that will start and stop only when there is movement, so you don't have to start and stop a stopwatch manually.

After features, another factor will be the physical properties of the pedometer itself. What sort of case configuration will work best for you? A flip-down case means the reset, and other, buttons are protected, and you flip down the case to see your steps. An open-faced pedometer is just that, open, and you have to look upside-down at your numbers. Not bad when you are checking steps, but it can be cumbersome if you are looking at a lot of data. Some pedometers have a holster-style case where you can pull the unit off your hip and look at it.

High Gear Fitware Digital FM Radio Pedometer Consider where the pedometer is manufactured. There is general agreement that the best units are made in Japan, with Taiwan a close second. Pedometers made in China are generally believed to be less accurate than Japanese or Taiwanese models.

Price is always a consideration as well. The law of "you get what you pay for" works to a certain point but is not the only guideline you should follow. I've heard of a few people who thought their free McDonald's or Kellogg's pedometers worked well, while most of the feedback I've heard was negative. I've also seen very expensive pedometers that just weren't worth the price.

It pays to shop around and find the pedometer that will work best for you. Consider the features, the structure, and the country of origin, and then factor in the price. You will end up with a pedometer that will give you motivation to keep moving throughout your life.

About The Author:
Matt says: Download my FREE pedometer ebook: "Simple Steps to Fitness: A Beginner's Guide to Pedometers" at http://www.rypsports.com/pedometers.html. It will give you more information on choosing and using your pedometer.

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